Food safety management systems

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Food safety management systems

All food businesses must implement and maintain a written food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to ensure food produced at your premises is safe to eat.

Our Officers will ask to see this during your inspection and the quality of your system does contribute to your food hygiene rating.

The extent and complexity of the system required depends on the size or nature of your business. The person responsible for implementing and maintaining the food safety management systems must have appropriate Food Hygiene and Safety Training.

What is HACCP?

HACCP is a widely accepted food safety management system, which can easily be adapted to suit all types and sizes of food business. It focuses on prevention of food safety problems before they occur and is accepted by international authorities as the most effective means of controlling food-borne diseases.

There are seven principles of HACCP:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis
  • Determine the critical control points (CCPs)
  • Establish critical limits
  • Establish monitoring procedure to control the CCPs
  • Establish corrective action when monitoring indicates the CCP is not controlled
  • Put in place procedures to confirm that the HACCP is working effectively
  • Retain documentation for all procedures and records

Implementing a Food Safety Management system

It is your choice whether to use a generic system or to create one of your own.

The Food Standards Agency has produced the Safer Food, Better Business pack to help you provide a basic system. There are a number of Safer Food, Better Business packs available, designed to meet the specific needs of different food businesses. For more information or to get a copy of Safer Food, Better Business pack, please visit Safer Food, Better Business

There is also a Safer Food, Better Business Online Guide available in 16 different languages which can help you implement the Safer Food, Better Business scheme and train your staff.

Low risk and very small food businesses

Low risk and very small food businesses only need very simple procedures and records in place, and we have produced our own systems to help you.

Our systems require you to complete a checklist that shows what you do in your business and then keep records of the food activities undertaken, on which day and any problems encountered. We recommend that you keep your records in a daily diary or record sheet:

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